Mailbag question: future defensive prospects?



I would like to further the conversation we were having about defense in the commentary on the Greg Robinson post. I had a few more questions; perhaps you can enlighten me a bit.

First off, as we discussed, the last two recruiting classes have been heavily offense-based. Though Coach Rod had a highly ranked defense at West Virginia, the fact stands that he is widely considered an offensively minded coach (whereas Coach Carr came from a more defensive background — as hilarious as that might sound). One glaring position of need, I think, is at the middle linebacker spot.

My question to you is, who are the big prospects that we can go out and get on defense for the next recruiting class? What is being done to address the obvious need at linebacker? Do you think Coach Robinson is going to provide a much needed boost to our defense in recruiting (I understand game play and philosophy is a wait-and-see approach)? Will the tradition of great, tough Michigan defenses of the past fall by the wayside under Coach Rod?




Thanks for the question.

We hope that Michigan gets back to being an intimidating defensive team. We believe this is best way to build a football program.

Coach Rod has a different approach that has been very successful for him. We hope it works here at Michigan. Most of the names being mentioned as early Michigan offers and leans are defensive backs and skilled position players.

We are not saying that Michigan is only recruiting defensive backs and speed positions. Just that at this time the emphasis appears to be on skilled position players. Some of those names on defense that we have been hearing about is Marvin Robinson who has visited Michigan for a summer camp the old regime offered him. Along with Ohio safety Latwan Anderson from St. Edwards.

You have cornerbacks Lo Wood from Apoka, FL who is Gallon’s teammate and Dior Mathis who comes from Detroit Cass Tech program.

They seem to be hitting defensive ends early this year and that is a good thing. That was the one thing we had a problem with last year with the late start. These type of positions do not grow on trees and a lot harder to find than say slot guys that we believe are a dime a dozen.

William Gholston (Detroit–Southeastern), Derrick Bryant (Columbus–Brookhaven), and Darryl Baldwin (Solon, OH) are good prospects to get a jump on.

One name that pops up in particular, who we like at middle linebacker, is Caleb Lavey from Celina, TX. His father is a Michigan alumni and was the equipment manager at Michigan. An outside linebacker we like is Jordan Hicks (Lakota West) in Ohio.

We will have a better idea about potential recruits after some of the spring combines and camps happen. Right now it’s too early to accurately determine if a kid really likes your program or not. A lot of fans / posters get excited and locked in on a kid just because his name is mentioned or the kid says he likes their school.

The number one way we think Coach Robinson can help Michigan recruiting is to establish a scheme and stick to it. Players want to know where they can fit into a program. Ambiguity within a football program is a killer when recruiting top talent.

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Written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine